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  Services » Regional Services » Maritime services » Rules and safety information » Lifejackets

Lifejackets

Vessels 6 metres or less

While vessels 6 metres or less are underway, everyone on board:

  • must wear a lifejacket (or personal flotation device)
  • the lifejacket must be securely fastened
  • and the lifejacket must be appropriate size. .

Note: the skipper is responsible for complying with this rule. Failure to comply may result in a $200 fine. 

Vessels bigger than 6 metres

In vessels more than 6 metres in length, everyone on board must wear a lifejacket (or personal flotation device), unless the skipper has assessed the risk and considers it ok for lifejackets to not be worn.

Except, lifejackets must be worn:

  • when crossing a bar, including 200 metres either side
  • and in situations such as the following:
    • low visibility
    • rough seas
    • adverse weather
    • boating at night
    • high river flows
    • in an emergency.

In all other situations, enough lifejackets must be carried aboard in a readily accessible location to securely fit each person aboard.

For further information see the lifejacket rules in the Navigation Safety Bylaw (clause 2.7).

Lifejacket fit

A lifejacket needs to fit correctly to do its job.

To check fit:

  • check manufacturer ratings for your size and weight
  • properly zip and buckle the jacket
  • with your arms raised, have a friend tug the arm openings gently upwards
  • excess room above the arm openings means the jacket is ill-fitting

Click here for more information.

Inflatable lifejackets

Servicing

Manual inflatable lifejackets are a popular choice for many boaties. If you choose to use this sort of lifejacket remember it needs to be serviced at least once every two years.

Self-checks

You should carry out regular self-checks to make sure your lifejacket is in good working order.

For further information on self-checks:

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